Before bursting onto the music scene in 2009, we knew Drake best as the Canadian actor who played wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation. But five years after signing with Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment imprint, Drizzy has become a major hip hop game changer. He has received dozens of accolades, including his first Grammy for Best Rap Album, and introduced the phrase “YOLO” into the pop culture lexicon. Did we mention he’s achieved all of this by the age of 27? Drake has accomplished so much at such a young age that it begs the question: has he eclipsed his mentor and boss, Weezy? Let’s break down the stats.
The music industry wasn’t quite the same when Lil Wayne was working his way to stardom. The New Orleans rapper entered the game when he was a teenager, spitting rhymes in a group called The Hot Boys and repping Cash Money back in 1996. Wayne’s road to world-wide adoration was much longer than that of his protégé Drake. With their Drake Vs. Lil Wayne battle tour kicking off tonight, let’s compare what they both accomplished by the age of 27….
1. MUSICAL OUTPUTALBUMS
- So Far Gone EP (2009)
- Thank Me Later (2010)
- Take Care (2011)
- Nothing Was the Same (2013)
- Tha Block is Hot (1999)
- Lights Out (2000)
- 500 Degreez (2002)
- Tha Carter (2004)
- Tha Carter II (2005)
- Tha Carter III (2008)
WINNER IS…Drake. Although Lil Wayne released more albums than his protege overall, the Toronto rapper has achieved a larger number of albums sold in a shorter period of time than his boss with Drake’s first three studio albums selling over 400,000 units in its first week. Tha Carter III, released in 2008, was Lil Wayne’s first album to push over 500,000 copies in its first week.
- Drake has 33 top 10 hits on Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts.Drake beat Usher’s record, topping Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop Airplay chart with 14 #1 singles that recently included Lil Wayne assisted “Believe Me”.
- Lil Wayne has 31 top 10 hits on Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts (second to Drake).
- Lil Wayne is third behind Drake and Usher with “Believe Me” being his 10th number one single on the R&B/Hip Hop Airplay charts.
WINNER IS…Drake. He surpassed Lil Wayne with the most top 10 hits on Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop charts in addition to beating out Usher’s record with the most number one singles.
- Drake started OVO Sound Label in 2012 with Noah “40” Shebib, which is distributed by Warner Bros. Records. Artists include group Majid Jordan and PARTYNEXTDOOR.
- Lil Wayne started Young Money Entertainment (YMCMB) in 2005, which is distributed by Cash Money/Universal with Drake and Nicki Minaj being two of his lead artists.
WINNER IS…Lil Wayne. He signed Drake but I do believe Drake will be able to achieve the level of success Wayne did with YMCMB as Drake’s influence continues to grow.
- Jay Z, Kanye West, Eminem, Rihanna, Beyonce, Young Jeezy, Chris Brown, Swizz Beatz, Rick Ross, Bun B, Alicia Keys, DJ Khaled, 2 Chainz
- Jay Z, Eminem, Kanye West, B.o.B, Chris Brown, Swizz Beatz, The Game, T.I., Wyclef Jean, DJ Khaled, Rick Ross, T-Pain, Destiny’s Child
WINNER IS…Drake. Although this could easily be a tie since they’ve both worked with many of the same artists, Drake wins this for landing respectable collaborations with artists like Jay Z, Eminem, and Kanye West early in his career.
- Lights Dreams and Nightmares Tour also known as Away From Home Tour (2010)
- Club Paradise Tour (2012)
- Would You Like a Tour (2013-2014)
- I Am Music Tour (2008-2009)
- America’s Most Wanted Festival (2009)
- I Am Still Music Tour (2011)
WINNER IS…Lil Wayne. His I Am Music Tour/America’s Most Wanted Festival and his post-prison I Am Still Music Tour grossed over $80 million combined with I Am Still Music Tour being his highest in gross and attendance.